1 July 2008
Thank you Josée. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.
Greetings fellow Canadians here on the Hill, across the country and around the world. Happy Canada Day. Today is a day to celebrate our home and native land, the True North strong and free.
As I travel around the world, I grow in my understanding of how uniquely blessed we truly are to live in Canada, blessed by our generous gift of resources, blessed by the limitless potential of our vast northern frontier, and blessed by our diverse peoples who have made this country a model of freedom, harmony and prosperity.
Today Confederation turns 141 years old. And there are more reasons than ever to celebrate our country. 2008 is a year of historic anniversaries.
The 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City by Samuel de Champlain, Canada’s very first governor. The 250th anniversary of the establishment of representative government in Nova Scotia, making Canada one of the world’s oldest democracies. And the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Crown colony of British Colombia, ensuring our country would stretch from sea to sea.
Beyond all that, this year also witnessed an important evolution in Canada’s relationship with our First Peoples. On that historic day last month when we gathered here on Parliament Hill in a spirit of reconciliation, and as National Chief Fontaine said, "Together we can achieve the greatness our country deserves."
The greatness our country deserves.
How right he is.
Together we are healthy families building strong communities.
Together we are people who work hard, and we are dynamic entrepreneurs who enjoy success both at home and the world over.
Together we are prudent stewards of our precious environment.
Together we are a rich and diverse people of French, English, Aboriginal and multicultural origins, born here or hailing from other parts of the globe.
And together we are making a positive difference in the world led in Afghanistan by the courageous men and women of the Canadian Forces.
Fellow citizens, every day in countless ways, we are working together to achieve the greatness our country deserves. That's why on this Canada Day we are prouder than ever to call ourselves Canadians. And that's probably why I think we have the biggest crowd we've ever had here for Canada Day. This is fantastic. On behalf of my family, Laureen, Ben, and Rachel and on behalf of the entire Government of Canada, I wish all of you a happy Canada Day. May God keep our land glorious and free.